Etruscans, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

The Etruscans were a people of ancient Italy, of non-Caucasian and uncertain origin, affirming themselves in an area called Etruria. On the origin and provenance of the Etruscans, a remarkable literature flourished, not only historical and archaeological. The news that comes from historical sources is in fact rather discordant. In ancient times, three different theses were elaborated: the first supporting Eastern origin reported by Herodotus, a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC; the second that supports the Etruscan autochthony elaborated by Greek Dionysius of Alicarnassus lived in the first century BC and the third one that supports the Northern origin based on a step by Tito Livio.Herodotus, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

The influence of the ancient Greeks on the Etruscans led to a historical-cultural phase called “Orientalizing,” followed by what was said – in analogy with the phases of Greek history – “classical” and “Hellenistic”. The contacts took place mainly through Magna Grecia, that is, the Greek colonies in today’s southern Italy. The apogee of the Etruscan expansion was touched in the middle of the 6th century BC; in the battle of Alalia.Ancient Greece, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

Defeated, together with the Carthaginians, the Foces of Marseilles.Carthaginians, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

On this occasion, the captive prisoners were stoned by the Etruscans of Caer. During this time, the Etruscans managed to establish their hegemony throughout the Italian peninsula, the Tyrrhenian Sea and, thanks to the alliance with Carthage, to the Western Mediterranean. In 396 BC Veio was conquered by the Romans; the other Etruscan cities did not intervene immediately but fought against Rome, which continued its policy of conquest.Roman mythology, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

In 294 BC the second Etruscan city of Roselle fell, and afterward, all the cities of southern Etruria lost their independence, while in the north the continual invasions of the Celts began before the 6th century BC. destroyed the centers of the Po Valley. The Romans used Etruscan culture especially for the aristocrats, priests capable of interpreting fate by reading the bowels of animals, birds flying, and lightning. In addition, the teachers of Roman pupils were Etruscans and Greeks, considered the most educated. The relationship between the Etruscan man and the divine was dominated by fear. The individual, in the Etruscan conception, was in a total submission to the will of the gods he could only understand and undergo. In fact, gods were the ones who determined the destiny of men. The only opportunity granted to men was to scrutinize and anticipate fate in advance by identifying and analyzing the signs that the gods periodically sent to the earth; it was also possible to try to alter the destiny to a minimum by doing acts suitable to please the gods. Finally, it was necessary to observe strict behavioral rules in order not to offend the gods. The three most important Gods are:

1) Tinia (which corresponds to Jupiter / Zeus)Tinia, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.


2) Her bride Uni (Giunone / Era)Uni, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

3) And their daughter Menrva (Minerva / Athena). In the Etruscan culture, divination occupied a fundamental role.Menrva, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

It was based on the concept of predestination, according to which the life of every living being had been written by Gods since birth. Divinatory art allowed the Etruscan man to identify, through the study of specific signs, the divine will – and therefore his own destiny – only to adapt. Etruscan divination is divided into two main branches:

The Aruspicine or the interpretation of the divine will through the study of animal bowels, more precisely liver and intestines;Aruspicine, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

The Lightning Doctrine, or the Lightning Interpretation.Lightning doctrine, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.

With the Latin term, “Etruscan discipline” is meant the complex of norms and doctrines that governed the Etruscan religion, mostly collected in a series of books constituting a sort of “sacred writing”. The poor news about the Etruscan discipline is in the hands of Roman authors (such as Cicero) since all Etruscan writings have been lost.

Etruscans, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.



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Etruscans, definition and study. A-Z index of Cognitio.